The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of a new Commonwealth-State Government program to leverage private sector investment in new timber plantations, which will help secure Australia’s future housing timber construction needs.
AFPA CEO Ross Hampton said the new timber plantations will support regional manufacturing jobs in Australia, ensure the next generation of Australians have timber to build their homes, and make a significant contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction goals.
“AFPA has been calling for urgent action by all levels of Government to address our current and future timber supply constraints, which will only worsen as global demand for renewable wood fibre increases if we do not act now to grow our timber plantation resource,” Ross Hampton said.
“Australia is in the grip of a critical housing timber shortage due to record building activity and imported timber drying up due to global demand. Without action to drive the plantings, the Federal Government’s goal to establish one billion new timber trees by 2030 will not be realised and a looming shortage of 250,000 house frames by 2035 will be imminent.”
Mr Hampton urged the state governments to work constructively with the Federal Government to ensure the program is a success and delivers the right trees in the right places.
“This announcement is a necessary and welcome return to the successful Federal-State partnership model which drove the planting of almost one billion timber trees in the last century, but has stagnated for the past 30 years. We look forward to seeing further detail on the announcement and working with the Government to progress much needed production tree plantings in Australia,” Mr Hampton concluded.